Frankel reached yet another milestone in his glittering stud career on Saturday when hitting the 100 stakes winners mark.
The landmark arrived courtesy of Emotion’s win in the Listed Chalice Stakes at Newmarket.
Already the fastest European sire in history to reach 50 Group winners, Frankel becomes the joint fastest to sire 100 stakes scorers, his achievement of accumulating the number in 2,402 days also matched by Danehill – although it has to be remembered that the late Coolmore phenomenon possessed the luxury of large dual hemisphere books, something that Frankel does not.
It is remarkable to think now that the early days of Frankel’s stud career were played out against a backdrop of commercial suspicion. Thankfully he has gone on to prove all his doubters wrong; granted, he has been aided by a host of high-performing mares but in return, his is a record that contains 25 Group or Grade 1 winners in Europe, North America, Australasia and Japan.
Of course, there were high expectations from the start. Frankel’s unbeaten stretch of 14 races was the longest seen in Europe since Ribot, foaled in 1952. Along the way, there were ten Group 1 victories, ranging from his tour-de-force in the 2,000 Guineas to a ridiculously easy win in the Juddmonte International on his first try over 1m2f.
As such, he stood his first season at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket in 2013 at a fee of £125,000 and his first book went on to include 38 Group or Grade 1 winners as well as 25 Group or Grade 1 producers, many of them sent by his owner-breeder Prince Khalid Abdullah.
He hit the ground running with a first crop that to date includes 23 stakes winners led by the Group/Grade 1 scorers Call The Wind, Cracksman, Dream Castle, Mirage Dancer, Mozu Ascot and Soul Stirring.
Since then, his ascent has been relentless and last year, he secured another milestone when becoming the first British-based champion sire since Mill Reef in 1987. In doing so with a total of £5,262,659 – aided by the Group 1 victories of Adayar, Hurricane Lane, Snow Lantern, Alpinista and Inspiral among others – he halted the lengthy championship run of his sire Galileo. To put the former Irish dominance into perspective, the British and Irish championship has been won by only five British-based stallions since 1971; in addition to Frankel and Mill Reef, the list also consists of Great Nephew, Queen’s Hussar and Kris.
Frankel currently sits behind Dubawi, Sea The Stars and Galileo on this year’s British and Irish leading sires’ list. Yet that placing fails to paint a full picture – there have been three European Classic winners in Westover (Irish Derby), Nashwa (Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes) and Homeless Songs (Irish 1,000 Guineas) to go with the fellow Group 1 winners Inspiral (Coronation Stakes), Alpinista (Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud), Onesto (Grand Prix de Paris) and McKulick (Belmont Park Oaks Invitational). Particularly successful have been his three-year-olds, 18 of whom are already stakes winners.
Frankel is already also making his presence felt as a sire of sires with one of his first sons to stud, Cracksman, having made a bright start with his first two-year-olds, notably as the sire of recent Star Stakes heroine Dance In The Grass.
Meanwhile, his daughters are also proving effective at stud; between them, they have already produced three stakes winners including recent Group 3 Jersey Stakes scorer Noble Truth and Listed Feilden Stakes hero Eydon.
Frankel stood the past season at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket for £200,000.
Emotion, who was winning for the second time for Qatar Racing and John and Thady Gosden, was bred by The Molly Malone Partnership out of the high-performing Lomitas mare Molly Malone, winner of the 2012 Group 1 Prix du Cadran.